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Technology continues to disrupt logistics positively. It changes the process altogether from its core. In fact, research reports indicate the adoption of “connected logistics” will accelerate. Mainly, this is due to the increasing use of emerging technologies, especially the internet of things (IoT). It’s a good thing, considering that logistics can quickly get hectic and eat through a significant portion of a business’s budget due to the tight deadlines and the ever-growing number of vehicles running on the road.
One technology causing radical change to logistics for field service companies is specialized route optimization software for landscapers. Field service providers have hundreds, if not thousands, of clients to visit. For these businesses, fuel costs can make up 59.8% of their total operational cost per mile, so manually planning routes is an inefficient solution.
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In this post, you’ll learn what route optimization is and how it can step up the logistics of field service businesses. Read on to learn more.
What Is Route Optimization?
Route optimization or planning utilizes artificial intelligence to discover the most efficient routes a business can take when delivering its product or service. It incorporates many criteria. These include road conditions, the total number of stops, hours on the road, and geographical locations of delivery points. It’s often performed with a route optimization solution.
This technology is applicable to many companies. This is true whether your business is a service provider where you or your staff visit clients’ homes or establishments, or your company offers direct-to-consumer product deliveries. Here’s a closer look at the reasons you need route optimization for your business:
Route Optimization Reduces Operating Costs and Increases Revenue
For field service businesses, low-profit margins are a constant challenge. That’s why companies focus on reducing operating costs to improve revenues.
The good news is that route optimization apps identify the best way to connect several drop-off points. Additionally, they discover imbalances and produce solutions. The tools do it by analyzing different factors in giving you the most optimal route to take. Instead of guessing, it uses an algorithm to find the most efficient route. That’s why it can help your company save on operating costs without sacrificing the quality of your service.
By allowing you to travel on the most effective available routes at all times, you can also complete more service calls. Naturally, this will increase your company’s revenue and profits.
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It Automates Route Planning and Schedule Organization
Another perk of utilizing route optimization software in your field service business is the ability to employ automatic planning and scheduling.
Chances are, you’re spending hours organizing appointments and shifts every day. Fortunately, with route optimization solutions, it’s possible to cut the planning phase down from hours to minutes. In fact, sophisticated systems allow users to plan their schedules months in advance. Not only that, but most of the tools currently available on the market also factor staff availability, customer availability, location, deadlines, and more. This means the software can assign tasks to staff based on availability and location automatically.
Finally, next-gen route optimization apps let users react to vehicle breakdowns and customer cancellations instantly. This feature allows you to replan your schedule immediately.
It Reduces Human Error
Manual route management is prone to human error. This is especially true in complex routes where there are many factors to consider. However, a route optimization system reduces the chances of making errors since it allows for process automation. That said, you or your managers can instead use the time troubleshooting other issues or working on other essential aspects of your business.
Route Optimization Monitors Your Vehicles in Real Time
It’s essential to note that route optimization solutions not only enable field service business owners to find the best routes that their teams can take to reach their destinations, they also allow for route monitoring. It keeps you, your personnel, and your customers updated in real time. By monitoring the maps displaying the routes and through the power of real-time GPS, you can be assured that your team members are sticking to the most efficient route and aren’t taking inappropriate breaks.
Again, the number of vehicles on the road is growing rapidly. Intelligent software can ensure that your company’s personnel arrive at a client’s place on time to deliver their service without significant delays. A route optimization app can help business owners do that through a live-tracking feature that provides automatic updates.
It Improves Customer Experience and Satisfaction
Customer reviews influence modern businesses’ success more than ever before. That’s because 90% of today’s consumers rely on the internet in finding a brand that can deliver a product or service for their needs. Before making a decision, 82% of them read reviews first.
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The good news is that customers also benefit from route optimization. With route optimization software systems, bad road conditions and unexpected traffic jams become less of an issue. This technology results in timely product or service deliveries. Of course, faster, timelier product or service deliveries mean a better experience for your customers.
With a route optimization app, you can also let your clients track their orders or your field service team when they’re already on the way, further solidifying your customers’ trust and boosting their satisfaction. Have your customer support team been getting many “Are you guys here yet?” calls? If so, then they’ll be glad to know that keeping your customers happy through route optimization also cuts down on these unnecessary communications.
Field service businesses that want consumers to trust them with their money need to have a positive reputation online. Increased customer satisfaction through route optimization, among other strategies, can make that possible.
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The field service industry has expanded significantly and transformed into one of the largest worldwide. By using modern technology like route optimization software, field service businesses can improve their processes, generate more revenue, and increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.